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How to Run Productive Meetings

Do you ever find that your meetings run on and on?

That they almost always go over schedule, but that you quite often leave them with a sense that little has been decided? Or not entirely sure that anything has been done? Do you sometimes feel as though your meetings are a waste of time? Or, do you find that weeks after, all of the changes that you proposed have been long forgotten?

This is bad enough when it’s an in-house team meeting. But, those aren’t the only meetings that can be a waste of time. Sometimes even when we meet clients and suppliers, the point of our meetings becomes lost. We don’t get as much out of them as we should, and we lose precious time that we could be making money elsewhere.

Making your meetings more productive can help you to get more out of them. It can mean that you lose less time in your day for each session and that you and the other participants come out feeling inspired and invigorated.

Find the Right Settings

There’s nothing worse than turning up at your meeting place only to find that there’s not enough space for your party. Or that they don’t have the features that you need to present your ideas. Even worse is finding that your meetings have to be canceled due to a double booking. But, most of us, especially those that run small businesses, don’t have endless conference rooms at our disposal. We rely on the use of other facilities, which always carries a risk. Using room reservation software can make the whole process much easier, ensuring that you get what you need from the space.

Write Up a Schedule

The very worst thing that you can do is go into a meeting of any kind without a plan. This kind of meetings always takes longer than intended. Sit down and write up a schedule before you go in. Make sure you include five minutes for chat and catching up before you get stuck in. Try not to let yourself get derailed from it as you go.

Set a Time Limit

Most of us have a vague idea of how long a meeting should last, and most of them take a lot longer. Generally, people can only sit and focus for around 30 minutes. After that, we get distracted. So, give all of your meetings 30 minutes. Say what you need to early on, and wrap things up efficiently.

Invite Only Those Needed

Team meetings can be great. But, most of them aren’t. Getting the whole team together can lead to chaos. Instead, only invite those needed for what you want to talk about. This might mean that you need to meet more regularly, but it will also mean that your meetings are more focused and efficient.

The same goes for meetings outside of your own company. Try to keep attendance to the minimum, and you are sure to get more out of them.

Start on Time

Waiting for people to arrive or settle down before you start sets the tone for the meeting. Start on time, every time, and the rest of the meeting may follow suit.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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